Post-harvest facilities play significant role in sardine fishery management even amid scarce resources - Oceana Philippines
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Post-harvest facilities play significant role in sardine fishery management even amid scarce resources

Press Release Date: July 29, 2021

Post-harvest facilities play a key role in developing and sustaining sardine production in the country, particularly in areas near the sardine-rich waters of Aklan, Mindoro, Batangas and Quezon.

A planning workshop led by Oceana with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region IV-A saw the post-harvest facilities, particularly for drying, canning, and bottling as well as ice plants and cold-storage areas as effective instruments to address poverty in coastal communities. The participants aired these as among their needs for livelihood, and the promotion of ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable interventions. They pointed out that there are no post-catch facilities in Masbate or in Mogpog Pass in Quezon, considering that sardine fishing is a major economic activity in these areas.

The workshop was convened to orient stakeholders on the National Sardine Management Plan (NSMP) in the Fishery Management Area 12 (FMA 12). The Plan was approved by Agriculture Secretary William Dar in May, 2020.

FMA 12 covers the inland waters of Aklan, Romblon, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Batangas and Quezon. Among the 20 sardine species known to thrive in the Philippines, FMA 12’s top three are Sardinella lemuru, Sardinella gibbosa, and Sardinella fimbriata.

Providing these post-harvest equipment and tools will enable fisherfolk to preserve the good quality of their fish and fishery products, which they could sell for a higher price. Local consumers will also benefit from these as they will have immediate access to safe and quality fish.

The facilities can also be used as venue for skills trainings on disaster-resilient fisheries-based livelihoods and resource management such as monitoring fish catch and stock assessment.

These centers can serve as a way for fisherfolks to add value to their catch. “Sardines is our poor man’s fish but, with proper planning, positioning, value adding, and branding, we can elevate it to a higher platform that will add value to our fisherfolks and to their households in terms of food and income security,” Agriculture Undersecretary Cheryll Marie Natividad-Caballero during the workshop.

Oceana underscores the urgent need to address the dwindling sardines fishery in the country. From the 2010 production of 442,045.75 metric tons, sardine catch went down significantly to 325,226.20 metric tons or by 26.4% in 2019. 

Oceana Vice President Gloria Estenzo Ramos emphasized that “sardines are very important resources not just for FMA 12 but for the entire country. It is imperative that these resources should be protected. We urge the Management Board of the sardine-rich Fisheries Management Areas such as FMA 12, 7 and 8 to integrate the National Sardine Management Plan in their respective Management Plans and implement them.”  

Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources. 

For more information, contact:Joyce SierraCommunications Manager, Oceana Mobile: 09178214430 E-mail: Facebook: @oceana_ph Instagram: @oceana_ph